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 Post subject: Quote query
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 2:20 am 
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Who said or wrote "'Tis better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all"?


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 4:15 am 
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Alfred Lord Tennyson in the poem In Memoriam (1850). It was written for a dear friend of his, Arthur Hallam, who died at age 22. Tennyson worked on the poem off and on for 17 years.


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 11:48 pm 
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Interesting. I didn't know he worked on it for 17 years. Amazing.

IN MEMORIAM A. H. H
by Alfred lord Tennyson (full text)
http://charon.sfsu.edu/tennyson/inmemoriam.html

Let Love clasp Grief lest both be drown'd,
Let darkness keep her raven gloss:
Ah, sweeter to be drunk with loss,
To dance with death, to beat the ground,
Than that the victor Hours should scorn
The long result of love, and boast,
"Behold the man that loved and lost,
But all he was is overworn."

[later]

Nor, what may count itself as blest,
The heart that never plighted troth
But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
Nor any want-begotten rest.
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

[later]

This truth came borne with bier and pall
I felt it, when I sorrow'd most,
'Tis better to have loved and lost,
Than never to have loved at all --
O true in word, and tried in deed,
Demanding, so to bring relief
To this which is our common grief,
What kind of life is that I lead;
http://charon.sfsu.edu/tennyson/inmemoriam.html


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2002 4:24 am 
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Tennyson worked on it and kept adding material until its publication in 1850, the year he was named England's poet laureate. The poem is a collection of meditations on loss. Tennyson grappled with the question of what's the good of caring about anything when caring exposes us only to pain and suffering? His answer was that pain is a necessary prelude to spiritual growth. The man who has no care, though secure from grief, is no better than a beast without a conscience. Thus, the famous line about "T'is better to have loved...."


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